My first year at Concordia was somewhat stressful (then again, I'm an extremely anxious person). I was pursuing a Painting and Drawing major with a minor in Art History and it was my first time studying in English. Although I had friends that went to Concordia, none of them had Studio classes, which means whenever I entered the Visual Arts building, I felt kind of intimidated.
My first painting and drawing classes, I mostly kept to myself. I secluded myself in a corner and tried my best to stay under the radar. The language barrier was hard to get past, I was reluctant to ask advice to my teachers or my peers and my art practice was kind of all over the place. However, as artists tend to be outgoing people, everyone was very nice to me. People started to reach out, I slowly let my facade down and began to make friends. I realized how incredibly welcoming Concordia’s artistic community really was and how much I had been missing out on.
When I first started writing Art History essays, I did so in French, mostly because the material I had learned in Cégep was in French and I just didn’t feel comfortable enough writing in English. Around the end of my second year however, I decided to just go for it! It almost felt easier because I didn't have to translate the Art History vocabulary I was learning in class.
I was encouraged by fellow artists to apply to callouts and attend vernissages, which I did. I learned that although rejections were far more frequent than acceptances, the important thing was to put myself out there and to keep trying. Joining the Painting and Drawing Student Association is what truly allowed me to invest myself in the community and learn new skills. It was intimidating at first (shocking!), but it was so rewarding to get out of my comfort zone, meet new people and get involved in the art scene.